Here at House of Coco we like getting off the beaten tourist path and exploring areas that we could dream of living in one day – Kuzguncuk is our latest neighbourhood obsession in Üsküdar, Istanbul along the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. This adorable area is holding off the ever approaching gentrification and offers a look into Istbanul’s past and multicultural present. Let’s dive in!
Start your exploring of this neighbourhood by perusing the books on offer at the charming Nail Kitabevi, with a coffee in hand. Situated on İcadiye Street in a 19thC rococo and baroque building, this is the perfect base to get your bearings. We recommend the reading nook in the bay window on the second floor – run, don’t walk!
For a hearty breakfast, before you start exploring, do as the locals do and pull up a chair at this neighbourhood favourite near the coast. Order a fresh juice, a turkish tea and Sahanda Yumurta (turkish fried eggs) and start plotting your adventure.
Savour a cinnamon hot chocolate at Chocolatier Aziz Bey
If coffee and turkish tea isn’t your thing, consider a visit to the charming Chocolatier Aziz Bey for delicious hot and cold chocolate drinks. You can customise your order with additional flavours – cinnamon is always our go to.
Explore Kuzguncuk’s beautiful mansions
This area is known for its gorgeous mansions along the coastline. Why not take a drink to go and see where your feet take you – look out for the 18thC Pink Mansion. While you are out for a wander, don’t miss a stroll up Nakkastepe hill for authentic cafe culture, rubbing shoulders with the locals.
Walk the streets and take photos
Kuzguncuk is a traditional neighbourhood, where religions and cultures sit happily side by side and this is evident in the mixture of architecture you’ll see taking a stroll around the area. Take any small street and marvel at the beautiful houses and churches.
Traditional fish lunch at Kuzguncuk Balıkçısı
Along the charming, cobbled Perihan Abla Street you’ll find the colourful Kuzguncuk Balıkçısı the perfect stop off for an alfresco lunch. Popular with the locals and run by a local entrepreneur, we hear that the fish soup and paella are particularly good.
Ask any local where you can’t miss and they’ll whisper Ismet Baba. This famous fish restaurant is on the shore of the Bosphorus lending an atmospheric feel to your dinner. Come hungry and order a glass of raki to sip as the sun goes down. The perfect end to your day in Kuzguncuk.